CSU Police Arrest Man in Connection to Assault Last Week

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University Police arrested a man Monday in connection with the reported sexual assault of a CSU student in her residence hall last week.

The woman reported the incident to CSU police early Saturday morning. After an extensive investigation that included review of surveillance camera footage and building entry data, CSU Police today charged Larry Gene Kirkland, 50, of 1024 Broadway with one count of rape. He was taken into custody without incident at a business in downtown Columbus. Kirkland told CSU Police he is the owner of Picasso Pizza and the general manager for the Uptown Tap. Kirkland is not a CSU student.

CSU Police first contacted the victim at the Midtown Medical Center, where she reported she had been raped and possibly drugged prior to the assault. The student works part time at Picasso’s and reported that she and Kirkland had drinks after closing the restaurant on the night she was assaulted. The victim said she did not remember anything after that and woke up in her room the next day. Through video surveillance, CSU Police identified Kirkland and placed him in the residence hall with the victim.

University counselors and staff have been working with the student.

CSU Police are working with Columbus Police and the GBI on similar assaults that have occurred in the downtown area.  Anyone who has information is encouraged to call CSU Police at 706-507-8911 or 911.